At an elaborate event hosted at the Civic last night, TVNZ unveiled its programming lineup for the year to come. Over the course of the one-hour spectacle, viewers' senses were assaulted with videos, comedy skits and live music acts, featuring many of the famous faces that graced the screen in 2014.
Upon taking to stage, TVNZ’s head of sales and marketing Jeremy O’Brien referred to the broadcaster’s success over the course of the previous year, and promised the advertisers and media owners in attendance that this trend would continue in 2015.
"Year after year for the last five years, we’ve delivered 85 percent of the top 100 programmes by viewership in this market," he said during the event. "[And] I’m also really confident, standing here today … that we’re absolutely going to maintain this leadership position again in 2015.”
And to fulfill this promise, TVNZ has combined a range of favourites from this year with a lineup of fresh shows that it hopes will maintain TVNZ’s dominant performance, which has seen the broadcaster hold the majority of the positions in the top 20 most-watched shows over the course of the last few years.
“With the enormous line-up we’ve got in store for 2015, we have ample content to continue providing must-watch TV every day of the week, regardless of the screen you’re seeing it on,” said O’Brien. “For our partners, this breadth of content means the ability to reach Kiwis from all walks of life."
Locally produced shows, such as Shortland Street and Nigel Latta’s documentary series, have played a major role in TVNZ’s success over the course of the last year, and $100 million commitment to local production in 2015 will see this continue.
This weighty investment in local content will see the launch of Our First Home, a DIY reality show that will see teams of Kiwi parents and their children renovating homes and then selling them for a profit. And the involvement of BNZ, Fly Buys and Toyota will also ensure that the line between content and advertising is further blurred.
While this move could be seen as TVNZ’s answer to The Block, it will air in early 2015, which means that the two shows will not go head to head.
However, given that My Kitchen Rules New Zealand will also return next year, it’s likely that DIY and food porn will again slog it out in a ratings battle in the latter half of 2015.
In addition to these shows, TVNZ will also launch lifestyle show Kiwi Living, which will feature segments on cooking, gardening , travel, health, DIY and pet advice.
“Our First Home and Kiwi Living will build on TVNZ's track record of integrated production formats that are co-developed with our advertising partners,” says O’Brien. “For Our First Home we worked with our partners from the early development stages, as part of our continuing commitment to partner brands and content for the maximum benefit of both clients and viewers. Kiwi Living remains in early development and we are having positive conversations with a number of potential partners.”
But these shows will only fill part of the 4,100 hours of local content that TVNZ has promised to viewers in 2015. The broadcaster is also launching locally made drama When we Go to War to coincide with the 100-year anniversary of the Gallipoli skirmishes.
There will also be the joint New Zealand/ Australian drama 800 Words, starring Erik Thompson (Packed to the Rafters) as a recently widowed Sydney father uprooting his teenage sons for the quiet life in small-town New Zealand.
Nigel Latta will also return to TV One in Nigel Latta Blows Stuff Up, an educational series that features the diminutive former psychologist doing exactly what the title of show promises.
And Rachel Hunter will front Rachel's Tour of Beauty, a series that tracks how beauty is understood in regions throughout the world.
But TVNZ’s success isn’t only based on local shows, with its strong lineup of international shows also drawing high audience numbers every night. And this is set to continue in 2015 with the extension of the broadcaster’s international distribution deals.
This will see shows such as The Big Bang Theory and Broadchurch return in 2015 and be joined by the USA’s number one new drama How To Get Away With Murder and David Duchovny’s new show Aquarius, which follows the Charles Manson murders.
TVNZ was asked which shows are being cancelled in 2015, but a spokesperson said that this information was not available at this stage.
Full list of shows:
NEW TO TV ONE:
- When We Go To War – as New Zealand prepares to mark the 100th anniversary of the Gallipoli landings, this local drama was made with funding from New Zealand On Air’s premiere Platinum Fund. With household Kiwi names like Ido Drent and Shavaughan Ruakere, combined with high quality production values, this promises to be a New Zealand television event.
- Our First Home – a brand new and locally made multi-night format. With BNZ, Fly Buys and Toyota making up the family of sponsors, this series showcases TVNZ’s continuing commitment to partner brands and content for the maximum benefit of both clients and viewers, providing brands another opportunity to reach their targets in innovative ways.
- Kiwi Living – sit back, relax, and plan out your weekend with the very best of the quintessential New Zealand lifestyle. Learn new recipes from cooking with the stars, get the very best in pet advice, pick up a few tips for brightening up your garden, and get some help planning your next big holiday.
- Nigel Latta Blows Stuff Up – Kiwi favourite Nigel Latta will be back on our screens, but with a difference; making science fun for the whole family. Expect to see what happens when a house burns down, and an explanation of what happens when you get hit with 10,000 volts of electricity.
- I Am Innocent – a chilling new documentary series telling the stories of six New Zealanders whose lives were shattered after being wrongfully imprisoned for crimes they didn’t commit.
- 800 Words – a joint New Zealand and Australian drama starring fan favourite Erik Thompson (Packed to the Rafters) as a recently widowed father of two teenage sons who leaves Sydney in search of a simpler life in a picturesque Kiwi town.
- Aquarius – the killings that shocked a generation; based on the true story, David Duchovny stars as the homicide detective working on the notorious Charles Manson-lead murders.
- Stalker – starring Maggie Q and Dylan McDermott, and already confirmed for a full season run in the USA due to its popularity, this psychological thriller delves into the minds of those who become obsessed.
- Forever – also confirmed for a full season run in the USA, this drama follows a New York City medical examiner with a vested interest in studying the dead; he himself can’t die. Starring Ioan Gruffudd and Judd Hirsch.
NEW TO TV2:
- How To Get Away With Murder – the number one new drama out of the USA. From Grey’s Anatomy creator Shonda Rhimes and starring double Oscar-nominee Viola Davis (Get On Up) as a defence attorney and criminal law professor who teaches her students the dark truth about law.
- Thunderbirds Are Go – the smash-hit TV show gets a 2015 treatment using cutting-edge animation from our very own Weta Workshop, co-produced by ITV and Pukeko Pictures.
- Terry Teo – the 1980s classic is back! Join Terry in a modern day adaptation of the savvy teenager surviving the mean streets of Auckland.
- The Big Ward – from Auckland’s Middlemore Hospital, follow the diagnosis and treatment of six morbidly obese Kiwis seeking help.
- Bogans – and they said he couldn’t make a career out of a PhD in “boganism”. Dr. David Snell presents the vibrant lifestyle of everything that comes with being a bogan in New Zealand. Prepare to cringe and laugh with some great Kiwi humour.
- The Mysteries of Laura – successfully managing the tricky task of premiering in the USA’s weekly top 20 shows, this new dramedy sees Debra Messing play a gifted NYC detective overrun by her twin six-year-old boys.
- Marry Me – based on the creator’s relationship with his wife, who also happens to be the star of the show (Happy Endings’ Casey Wilson), this comedy follows the long and bumpy road between agreeing to marry someone, and actually doing it.
- Marvel’s Agent Carter – as superheroes continue to dominate on TV, Ondemand and at the movies, Hayley Atwell reprises the role she held in the short-film of the same name, a spin-off from the box-office record-breaking Captain America franchise.
RETURNING to TVNZ:
- More of the best local programming including a feature-length episode of Shortland Street, MKR NZ, Step Dave, Police Ten 7, Best Bits, Piha Rescue, Return to Gloriavale and much more.
- Proven audiences favourites with multi-night viewing including MKR Australia, MKR NZ, The Voice Australia, The Voice USA and The Amazing Race.
- Premiere international content such as Broadchurch, Offspring, The Big Bang Theory,Wentworth, Call the Midwife, Arrow, Gotham, The Flash, Person of Interest, 2 Broke Girls, The Mentalist, The Walking Dead,Castle,Mom and much more.
- Still the home of New Zealand’s favourite soaps, with Shortland Street, Home and Away, Neighbours, Coronation Street and Emmerdale.